I love the opening scene from "Fiddler on the Roof". Tevye explains that life for the Jewish people is like a fiddler trying to play a fiddle while balanced on a roof. What keeps them up there? - tradition. If you haven't seen this song, you should watch it. Watch the whole movie. Our family loves it. I was watching "Tradition" just to get the feel again, and my children said we really need to watch the whole movie again soon.
Thanksgiving comes early for us as Canadians. Our is the second Monday of October. I usually try to have our decorations up by the beginning of September. It didn't happen that way this year, but then Thanksgiving happens to fall in almost the middle of October this year so that's okay.
Yesterday we put our decorations up, and when my husband came home from work he took over his part of our Thanksgiving traditions. Every year he draws a tree for us. Then we ad"trd leaves to it - one per day per person. The leaves tell something we are thankful for. The children look forward to Daddy drawing our tree. There's always giggles, laughter and more than one "Daaaaaddy". He has a funny sense of humour that comes out in his drawing. There are innumerable requests for how the tree should be embellished. It's a fun time and we enjoy seeing the tree fill in.
|starting to detail|
|the finished product|
I love traditions. We have several in our family. I think they are part of the glue for our family. They are part of what makes us unique. Another Thanksgiving tradition is a giant 3-D turkey that we make. Part of the tradition is that more than half the time it doesn't stand up. We have fun anyway. Maybe sometime we'll get the recipe down perfectly so that it stands up every time but I'm not holding my breath.
Some families have pizza night or movie night or they have a special thing for birthdays (the birthday boy or girl is excused from all chores in our house and gets to pick the supper menu). Some families have traditional vacation spots. Some families let their children stay up as late as they want on Christmas Eve (I think this is so they won't disturb their parents too early on Christmas morning.). Whatever the traditions your family has it's important to have them. Children love routine. They love to know what's coming next. Yes, the odd surprise is fun, but I have learned that things go more smoothly when we know what's coming.
Many cultures have a rich heritage of how they celebrate different holidays and life events. I love to read about these traditions. Our lives are so much better when we put time and effort into making these meaningful times for our children. It's something they'll look back on and say, "Remember how..." or "We always..."
We can have a daily tradition of praying before we eat or a bedtime story; a weekly pancake breakfast; or the same way of treating a change in seasons or preparing for a holiday. Whatever you do have some traditions. They can be as simple as holding hands when you pray for a meal or as elaborate as several traditions done at the same time of year to celebrate something like Thanksgiving.
|adding the leaves|
Since I'm always looking to add to our family's traditions, what is your favourite tradition in your family?